THE LONGEST RUNNING TV SHOW

For 31 years, there was a series on Channel 7 in Boston. It was my favorite show. I watched it any day I could get home from work in time. It was on several times a day, five days a week. The first performance often aired during the pre-dawn hours, while the final day’s episode might air long after most people had finished dinner and many had gone to bed.

It was “good stuff.” Garry Armstrong was a smart, thorough reporter who cared about Boston and its people. He knew everyone and they knew him. He makes jokes about being trusted … but he was trusted because he had proved he could be. He had sources. He checked with them. He knew when the a story wasn’t “right” and he was cynical about politicians and big money.

Watching Garry kept me informed about events taking place in my neighborhood, the city, and the region. I also got follow-up and background information over dinner — sometimes quite different than what had been aired. There was stuff you could broadcast, and there was stuff that he and other reporters “knew,” but couldn’t prove.

It was sometimes difficult to reconcile the star of the TV show with the tired, crabby guy who came home expecting dinner, a newspaper, and when we were lucky, a baseball game. I always knew how the star’s day had gone. I taped his pieces so he could see them when he got home. Although he covered stories, wrote them, and performed, he didn’t see them as finished pieces unless I taped them.

I watched the news as I also watched him deal with violence and the calamities that are a constant in every reporter’s life. He never got used to it. Garry was, in a regional way — a celebrity. I was the celebrity’s wife — a very different role. My job was often to be there and smile. Television “people” don’t pay much attention to anyone who isn’t part of their habitat. At a good event, I got fed too.  I even got to wear ball gowns occasionally and I met some people I would never have normally encountered in my life.

Garry covered, or was involved with, virtually every major event in New England for his run of 31 years. From the great to the tragic, he was there.

Garry and I at President Clinton's party on Martha's Vineyard

Garry and I at President Clinton’s party on Martha’s Vineyard

We have one of Garry’s three Emmy awards on a shelf behind the TV, but virtually no tape of anything that happened. I don’t remember who found the piece below, but it’s a rare viewing of him doing normal work on a normal day in the news biz. Garry’s segment appears at about 1 minute and 30 seconds into the noon news. You can fast forward and skip the intro or choose to watch from the top of the show.

That was a “live shot.”

Time passes. It’s good to have something tangible to remember. Lucky me, I still have the star himself.

On September 12, 2013, Garry Armstrong was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

We keep the plaque on the mantel. His one remaining Emmy (Channel 7 lost the other two) is on a shelf that Owen built, along with his Kauff award and one other big one, the name of which I have forgotten. Amazing the things you forget even though at some point in your life, you couldn’t imagine ever forgetting something that important. His “Silver Circle” Lifetime Emmy hangs on the wall, too and there are other awards here and there in the house.

What is important changes over time. As time marches along, life and day-to-day events become more important than whatever career you had — except on days when the guys get together to remember.

That more or less wraps it up. I think it’s going to rain today.

HURT SO BAD

This year Linda Ronstadt turned 70 years of age.  She last sang lead vocals on A La Orilla de un Palmar in 2010 on The Chieftans album.  It is a traditional Mexican song.  In 2011 her autobiography, Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir, was published.  Two years later is came out in Spanish.  She also was given the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 .  It was the same year she announced her retirement in an interview with an Arizona newspaper.  Another two years would go by before we would understand why she walked away from a highly successful music career.

The silencing of Linda Ronstadt, Rich Paschall, Sunday Night Blog

All through the 1970’s, you could not leave your transistor radio on for long without hearing the distinctive voice of Linda Ronstadt.  She emerged from her early time with The Stone Poneys in the mid 60’s as broke from paying for much of their third and final album. But from that album, a solo career began to emerge .  Her cover of Mike Nesmith’s “Different Drum” became a hit and she was on her way.

After assembling a strong group of musicians and friends, she went ahead with both covers of songs from the 50’s and 60’s as well as some new songs.  The combination brought her hit after hit and made her one of the best-selling female artists of all time.  She posted many 10 top ten songs and one of her hottest was a cover of the Little Anthony and the Imperials song, Hurt So Bad,” which peaked in 1980.

In a career that lasted until 2011, Ronstadt sold over 100 million records and her voice can be heard on an astounding 120 albums.  She has an impressive collection of awards, including 11 Grammys.  She remained popular until her retirement when she declared herself “100 per cent retired.”  While some walk away from their careers as they get older, it is always somewhat of a surprise when a famous person retires.  You really expect them to come back at some point.  That was never going to happen for Ronstadt.

She could no longer sing.  She was physically unable.  In 2012 she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and in August 2013 the news was stated publicly.  Her induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame came too late in her career.  In April 2014, the disease progressed to the point where she could not perform at her induction, or even attend.  Her friends took her place on stage, singing out her biggest hits in tribute.

In July of 2014, President Obama handed out twelve 2013 National Medals of Arts and Humanities, including one for Linda Ronstadt.  This honor was not to be denied to her.  She was brought to Washington and wheeled into the East Room by a military aide, but she stood and walked up to the President of the United States to receive her award “for her one-of-a-kind voice and her decades of remarkable music.”  After the ceremony President Obama admitted to the crowd,  “I told Linda Ronstadt I had a crush on her back in the day.”  It’s OK to admit that.  Millions of others boys did too.

This year the Grammy’s gave a Lifetime Achievement award to  Linda Ronstadt.  A musical salute to this year’s Grammy’s Special Merit award winners will be shown on Great Performances on PBS Friday, October 14th in most television markets.  Lila Downs, Martina McBride and J.D. Souther will cover some Ronstadt hits.

WE NEEDED A LAUGH – THE SAG-AFTRA AWARDS

We watched the SAG-AFTRA awards last night on I-forget-which-channel. We had tuned in because they were going to give a “Lifetime Achievement Award” to Carol Burnett.

Garry Armstrong - Hall of Fame

Garry has quite a collection of such awards.

Garry Hall of Fame Lectern 2

He calls them the “dodging bullets” awards. If you manage to stay in the business long enough and don’t die young, you begin collecting “Lifetime Achievement” awards. Which means your career is finished, but your friends would like you to have some hardware by which to remember it.

Garry's Emmy

Garry paid his dues to AFTRA — American Federation of Television and Radio Artists — now part of SAG, the Screen Actor’s Guild, for his entire career. More than 40 years and it wasn’t cheap. He was also the union shop steward for a number of years.

So when the current prez of SAG got up and was talking about what great stuff they do for their members, Garry started shouting at the screen.

“Hey, how about a pension we can live on, eh? How about some decent medical benefits?”

That gave us a good laugh.

WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?

Back from the mountains, from the north land. Out of 9 days away, 4 were spent entirely in the car. We drove most of the day today and are exhausted. We need to rethink how we take vacations, how much driving we do. How close together we do long drives. 

BLOGGING: HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?

I am not going back to posting three or four times a day. Garry commented I didn’t seem to be having fun anymore. He’s right. It has become a job. Serendipity has eaten my life.

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So I’ve pulled back … and my stats are falling like a rock. Apparently, there’s a direct correlation between how much new material I post and how much traffic I get. So be it. I guess I’ll have to make do with less traffic. Because if I can’t do less, I’m going to quit entirely.

PONDERING

Vacation is a good time to ponder how I spend my time. I realized I spend all my time with the computer in my lap. The only time I’m not hooked up is when I’m physically out of the house, asleep, or cooking. I shouldn’t be surprised my wrists and shoulders hurt.

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So … what?

I love comments. I’ll answer comments, but if I don’t answer you every time, it’s not because I don’t care. There aren’t enough hours in my day to keep up this pace. I’ll visit your blogs when I can, but I won’t make myself crazy trying to visit everyone everyday.

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I’ll write if I have something to say. Post pictures when I’ve got something worth displaying. It will depend on the season, my mood, and what else is going on. Probably I’ll post more in the winter when I’m stuck in the house anyhow, less in nice weather.

So what do you guys think? Am I being unfair? Unrealistic?

I have stopped visiting bloggers who never visit me. That was easy. I don’t expect daily visits, but never isn’t enough. Never is actually insulting.

ABOUT THOSE SO-CALLED AWARDS

I wish I could give everyone a boost. I know you want me to look at your site because you drop links in my comments. Which would be okay if it weren’t obvious you haven’t read me. Or even looked at the pictures.

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Blogging — especially over the long haul — is a lot of work. it means keeping at it when you are sick, tired, and you don’t feel remotely creative. It takes determination, patience, and time to write and edit. I’m slower than most people to fully develop an idea. Even slower to edit.

My pictures aren’t just snapshots. I seek pictures and locations … because there are only so many pictures I can take of my backyard before even I don’t want to look at them.

Then I download, review, and finally, process. I don’t do a lot of processing, but I do the basics. Even so, it takes time. Merely reviewing a hundred or so pictures — the output of a typical outing — is a day’s work. I’m often still plugging away at it when everyone else is watching a movie or asleep.

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SPAM AWARDS 

don’t accept web chain-letter awards. It doesn’t matter what you call the award. Or who is giving it.

Anything that requires I annoy fellow bloggers, most of whom also won’t accept so-called awards, is spam. If you feel compelled to distribute them, send them to someone who has not up front stated he or she does not accept awards. Please: take “no” for an answer. If I say thank you, but no … nagging is just going to piss me off.

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT

So there you have it. It will be interesting to see who keeps visiting. I’ll do the best I can for all of you, but it’s time for a change and I am determined to make it stick.

ABOUT THE FRISBEE WEDNESDAY PHOTO PROMPT

Yes, I’m going to keep doing it. Because it’s fun. And blogging is supposed to be fun. Expect a new one this Wednesday, September 23rd.

A BIT OF INSPIRATION

This has been a big week for awards. Maybe it’s something in the air, or maybe it’s just the flipping of the calendar. This one, from Sue Vincent — who, like me, doesn’t accept awards. So from one award non-accepter to another, thanks Sue. I’m honored and I’m touched.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

 Benjamin Prewitt Art by Benjamin Prewitt

No, I know I don’t usually accept blogging awards these days. But it is a holiday… which means it is a time for not doing usual things. It is also the start of a new year, which makes it a perfect time to look at some of the things that have inspired me over the last one… and share the work of just a few of the people who write on WordPress.

And anyway… I couldn’t refuse Seumas and his cheeky Glaswegian twinkle….

If your blog is on the list and you accept awards, the guidelines are below. If you don’t accept awards… and you don’t have to… then take the nomination simply as a token of my appreciation.

Picking just a few is a near impossible task given the sheer scope of those to choose from! Especially as Seumas has already nabbed one or two…

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THE MORE THE MERRIER ……GOT A NEW AWARD!

Although I no longer accept awards, I felt I needed to say thank you in some way for this lovely honor. I really do appreciate the gesture and I am sincerely grateful that you chose me 🙂

soul n spirit

index1Better late than never……Before its too late let me take this opportunity to thank my friend and fellow blogger Saya…D..Poet fornominating me forSisterhood of the world Award.  Since I was off blogging for a week and couldn’t get time to do the needful therefore today I am here to show my gratitude to her. It is always good to get acknowledged for your work and when it comes from your friends it is worth all the more.

Here are the questions she asked:-

Name a moment till now which has brought on tears of sadness or gratitude or happiness etc.

ME: When my elder son was born….I was the happiest soul having tears of joy in my eyes. 

Have you felt an incomplete feeling as to what you are doing is not enough? If yes, what did you do?

ME: I pray whenever feel incomplete. God…

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Pointing the Way toward Excellence…..

I try to avoid awards and nominations. This is a new one and at least it doesn’t ask a lot of silly personal questions. If anyone is feeling like being nominated for this rather attractive award, free to contact me by email. Meanwhile, thank you SwittersB for thinking of me and excellence in the same sentence. I try 🙂

SwittersB & Exploring

little bear-smiling bear-wood carving-photography-East L.-Oregon-SwittersBI am sincerely pleased to acknowledge a nomination from Aquiliana at the enormously popular La Audacia de Aquiles for the Excellence Blog Award. Audacia de Aquiles is a most fascinating journey into Greek Mythology, history and the underpinnings to Western Civilization. Always fascinating to visit and learn. Thank you so very much Aquiliana!!! Gosh, I hope I got those vowels right.

As is consistent with the awards, I am to pass on this award to ten or so worthy creators and point the way to their site. There are so many wonderful bloggers out there and each award provides me the gift to point toward those amazing minds. With this award, you are kindly spared knowing the minutiae about SwittersB, so let me immediately point the way to my selections for the Excellence in Blogging Award.

Candy Canes Holly

excellence

Candy Canes Lites

Circadian Reflections   Gossamer Threads   Storyteller   Fabulous 50’s …

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